Next on Four Corners: A profile of Liberal leader-in-waiting, Malcolm Turnbull… his brilliance, his brashness and his baggage.
"People either love or loathe Turnbull."
Barring a stunning rebound by Brendan Nelson or a deft backflip by Peter Costello, there's a fair chance that Australia's alternative prime minister at the next election will be Malcolm Bligh Turnbull.
"Malcolm is one of those people who seem destined for great things."
Will voters embrace the wealthiest politician in Parliament? What strengths do colleagues see in him? And why do some of them fear his leadership may be combustible?
"Malcolm is a bit of a volcano."... "When you're on the wrong side of Malcolm, it's terrifying."
In this unauthorised profile, Four Corners hands the microphone to allies and adversaries who have seen the very best and very worst of Malcolm Turnbull at close range. Four Corners explores Turnbull's meteoric career and tempestuous character to gain a glimpse of the promise and pitfalls of a Turnbull leadership.
"Malcolm Turnbull is clearly a person of great ability."
Reporter Sarah Ferguson charts Turnbull's arrival as the bold young lawyer who rattled the British Establishment in the Spycatcher case. She throws new light on Turnbull's role in the bitter tussle for control of the Fairfax media empire, solving the lingering mystery of how Kerry Packer's bid for control of the Fairfax media empire was finally scuttled.
"... impetuous and unpredictable…"
Turnbull's eventual split from his mentor Packer would not alter his trajectory. Nor would a spectacular failure at the republic referendum - despite prompting early questions about his political judgment - and another falling out with a powerful figure, this time Prime Minister John Howard.
"He has a certain star quality." ... "His judgment was clearly appalling."
But there's a faint ticking in the background which could turn out to be a time-bomb. Four years after his entry to Parliament, questions continue to be asked about the baggage he carries from his earlier business life. Are the coalition – and the country – ready for Malcolm Turnbull? It's all part of "My Brilliant Career" – on Four Corners 8.30 pm, Monday 25 August and 11.35 pm Tuesday 26 August on ABC1, and also 8am Tuesday on ABC2.
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